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Poem: "The Divided States of America" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "The Divided States of America"

This poem came out of the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from aldersprig and rhodielady_47</lj>.  It was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  Much of this history will be familiar, but for the more obscure examples, see the Free State of Jones County, the Free State of Winston County, and the Kingdom of Beaver Island.  I owe my_partner_doug</lj> for introducing me to that last one.

The Divided States of America


It was a grand idea --
"The United States of America" --
but doomed to fail.

The Republic of Texas
gained its independence from Mexico
on March 2, 1836
and refused to have anything to do
with the mess in the rest of America.

In 1850, James Strang
declared himself the king of the Strangite Church
with a harem of fifteen wives.
When a border dispute went sour,
Canada granted diplomatic recognition
to the Kingdom of Beaver Island.

The Utah War of 1857 resulted
in the sovereign nation of Deseret,
where the Mormons could live in peace
and marry according to their own beliefs.

Mississippi seceded from the Union
on January 9, 1861 --
and like Texas,
decided to stay that independent.

In February of 1861
the Confederate States of America
formed from refugees of the Union,
believing there was strength in numbers.
The North chopped them to dogmeat anyway
but never managed to reunite its scattered holdings.

During the Civil War
there were two neutral "free states" --
the Free State of Jones County, Mississippi
and the Free State of Winston County, Alabama.
Tired of all the arguments and divisions,
everyone decided to leave them alone.

The Indians laughed themselves clean out of breath,
then began plotting to retake their territories.

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